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  1. #1
    Common Lackey

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    Default "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    I've developed a strong aversion to the ambroxan-overload scents that are so prevalent now -- it started when I couldn't endure the endless drydown of Jubilation XXV -- and in trying to understand this trend I came across a superb article on Fragrantica by a chemist, explaining the recent Firmenich product 'Ambrox Super' and its use in Calvin Klein's 'cK All'.

    It really helped me understand the uses/abuses of this odorant, and how it has contributed to the mega-hit mass-market fragrances that rely on single-note overdoses.

    (I recommend opening this link as a new tab in your browser, so you can get a cheap laugh from the title that appears in your browser's tab).

    https://www.fragrantica.com/news/cK-...-All-9555.html

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Thanks for the link. Very informative. Even more ambroxan? I need to smell this. I'm not a fan of woody ambers...

    cacio

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Nice one. And I like this author too. is he on basenotes?
    Beauty needs no morality or righteousness.
    It, like nature, does not give a shit
    Currently wearing: Pancaldi by Hanorah

  4. #4

    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    While Jubilation XXV has some ambrox(an), it's really Galaxolide (the stereotypical white musk) that's overdosed in the formula.

  5. #5

    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Thanks for the share, that was a well written and lucid article. I really wish we had folks like that who wish to discuss/analyze at that depth here as its so refreshing and interesting. More of his stuff here:

    https://www.fragrantica.com/news/author/Mat-Yudov/

  6. #6
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by epapsiou View Post
    Nice one. And I like this author too. is he on basenotes?
    Not that I know of, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

  7. #7
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    While Jubilation XXV has some ambrox(an), it's really Galaxolide (the stereotypical white musk) that's overdosed in the formula.
    Really? Do you think that's what causes the 1,000-hour drydown? ClaireV had me convinced it was ambroxan.

    And is it just me, or does that Firmenich advertisement in the middle of the article ("inspiring!") look like a vulva giving birth to a potato?
    Last edited by Cook.bot; 25th October 2017 at 08:40 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Really? Do you think that's what causes the 1,000-hour drydown? ClaireV had me convinced it was ambroxan.
    Galaxolide makes up almost half the formula and lasts several hundred hours on a test strip. If you smell a laundry musk in Jubilation XXV it is Galaxolide.
    There are, or course, other long-lasting materials in the perfume that contribute to its longevity, but compared with many popular perfumes on the market, I wouldn't say it has a real overdose of Amrbox(an).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Thanks for the link.

  10. #10
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    I wouldn't say it has a real overdose of Amrbox(an).
    Well, dang me. Have I been bad-mouthing the wrong odorant? But the same thing irritates me in Sauvage, and that's ambrox, right?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Great read!
    There is no beauty / That cannot be more abused / To beauty's effect.
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Well, dang me. Have I been bad-mouthing the wrong odorant? But the same thing irritates me in Sauvage, and that's ambrox, right?
    Yes and in Eau Mage too.
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    It, like nature, does not give a shit
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    What is it that Andy Tauer uses so much of?
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I came across a superb article on Fragrantica by a chemist, explaining the recent Firmenich product 'Ambrox Super' and its use in Calvin Klein's 'cK All'.

    https://www.fragrantica.com/news/cK-...-All-9555.html
    Appreciate the link!
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    Galaxolide makes up almost half the formula and lasts several hundred hours on a test strip. If you smell a laundry musk in Jubilation XXV it is Galaxolide.
    There are, or course, other long-lasting materials in the perfume that contribute to its longevity, but compared with many popular perfumes on the market, I wouldn't say it has a real overdose of Amrbox(an).
    How was this determined? I don't see Galaxolide anywhere in the ingredients list on any version of the box of JXXV?

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    I appreciate the link, thank-you Cook.bot

    A most interesting Perfume history lesson.

    Interesting to note the relatively low amount of Hedione used in the original Eau Sauvage. At 9 Years old the Hedione dose seemed large and beautiful. A Jasmine puffy cloud. Roudnitska brilliance.
    It is my thought that some of these Aromachemical fixatives like Ambroxin or Iso E Super, I am not sensitive to. Seems to me that they amplify the Quality of other materials in the mix. I know that I am particularily sensitive to Lower quality Citrus compounds used in the newer scents.

    Jubilation XXV I have found irritating only in the fact that it is so very relentless in Longevity. Galaxolide dosing?
    Last edited by purecaramel; 26th October 2017 at 07:21 AM.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Ah, this makes sense to me! I've recently smelled a few fragrances, among which Sauvage and a La Salle Prive masculine that have an everlasting, radiant, alcohol-y note that I can't handle at all, and it won't even wash off. I thought I detected it in Jubilation XXV as well, but it's not as unbearable there. Must be the Ambroxan then.

    Interesting read!

  18. #18

    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Hothamwater View Post
    How was this determined? I don't see Galaxolide anywhere in the ingredients list on any version of the box of JXXV?
    Hi,
    By GC/MS analysis.
    It's a common misconception that the ingredients list on the side of a perfume box is a complete disclosure. EU cosmetics law identifies 26 potential allergens. If any of these are present in a fragrance above a certain level, then they must be listed on the label.
    Linalool, for example, can often be found on ingredient labels. It occurs in a number of natural extracts commonly used in perfumery and so can find its way into a perfume through those routes. Alternatively, it can be added as a standalone material.
    Iso E Super however, present in probably the majority of modern perfume releases, is never listed as it is not one of the 26 potential allergens. Galaxolide, too, is not required to be listed.
    Hope that clarifies things.
    Last edited by gandhajala; 26th October 2017 at 07:23 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Well, dang me. Have I been bad-mouthing the wrong odorant? But the same thing irritates me in Sauvage, and that's ambrox, right?
    Yes, Ambrox(an) is common to Sauvage also. But so is Iso E Super, for example (beside other materials).
    Overall, I think Ambrox(an) gets a bad rap. It was mentioned in the press material for Sauvage and so became something for many people to hang their dislike of the perfume on.
    If it weren't for us living on different continents, I'd send you some Ambrox to sniff. It's really the only way to get a handle on individual materials.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Thanks for this OP. I enjoyed reading this and certainly learnt a lot.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Hi Cook.bot and all-

    Oh, AMEN! So many new perfumes dry down to this very similar, linear woody smell with its extreme longevity. I find this experience very boring and, increasingly, unwearable. A while ago, I ordered samples of some of the current woody, musky aromachemicals from the Perfumers Supply House, including Timbersilk, Animalis, Norlimbanol, and so forth, so that I could try to pin down what was bugging me. I realized that it isn’t just a single aromachemical--ambrox or Iso-E super or whatever is being currently blamed for the problem. Some of these ingredients smell quite good and have different nuances, even in isolation. I just think they need to be used with skill and subtlety and balanced with other ingredients to add interest and variety.

    So that’s what I now look for in a modern perfume. I think Duchaufour used woody musky stuffs beautifully in Ostara, and I enjoy wearing this composition. On the other hand, a big recent disappointment for me was Waddington’s Civet in the Zoologist line. Civet opened so beautifully and so promisingly that I was thinking that it might be FBW, a modern version of the spicy, mulled vintages that I love that are based on the mellis accord--such as Bellodgia, Moment Supreme, Indiscret, Balalaika--but sadly no...the woody aromachemical (WAC) drydown became so insistent and unrelenting that I can’t wear Civet.

    It is somewhat depressing to think that so many people seem to enjoy these WAC effects but I cannot, it seems. Heck, Escentric Molecules is doing a good business selling these aromachemicals in fancy bottles! In reviews, the usual code words for “Big Indigestible Dose of Woody Aromachemicals” seem to be amber, ambergris, cedar, patchouli, pepper, frankincense, oud, sandalwood, and animalic musk. Unfortunately, the standard potent WAC-smell suggests none of these lovely things to me. It's just WAC. I wonder if the tide will turn eventually, and we will see more perfumers using these aromachemicals with restraint?

    P.S. Thanks for posting the link to Mat Yudov’s article. All of his posts on Fragrantica are excellent and very informative.
    Currently wearing: Eau de Rochas by Rochas

  22. #22
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    Hi Cook.bot and all-

    Oh, AMEN! So many new perfumes dry down to this very similar, linear woody smell with its extreme longevity. I find this experience very boring and, increasingly, unwearable. A while ago, I ordered samples of some of the current woody, musky aromachemicals from the Perfumers Supply House, including Timbersilk, Animalis, Norlimbanol, and so forth, so that I could try to pin down what was bugging me. I realized that it isn’t just a single aromachemical--ambrox or Iso-E super or whatever is being currently blamed for the problem. Some of these ingredients smell quite good and have different nuances, even in isolation. I just think they need to be used with skill and subtlety and balanced with other ingredients to add interest and variety.

    So that’s what I now look for in a modern perfume. I think Duchaufour used woody musky stuffs beautifully in Ostara, and I enjoy wearing this composition. On the other hand, a big recent disappointment for me was Waddington’s Civet in the Zoologist line. Civet opened so beautifully and so promisingly that I was thinking that it might be FBW, a modern version of the spicy, mulled vintages that I love that are based on the mellis accord--such as Bellodgia, Moment Supreme, Indiscret, Balalaika--but sadly no...the woody aromachemical (WAC) drydown became so insistent and unrelenting that I can’t wear Civet.

    It is somewhat depressing to think that so many people seem to enjoy these WAC effects but I cannot, it seems. Heck, Escentric Molecules is doing a good business selling these aromachemicals in fancy bottles! In reviews, the usual code words for “Big Indigestible Dose of Woody Aromachemicals” seem to be amber, ambergris, cedar, patchouli, pepper, frankincense, oud, sandalwood, and animalic musk. Unfortunately, the standard potent WAC-smell suggests none of these lovely things to me. It's just WAC. I wonder if the tide will turn eventually, and we will see more perfumers using these aromachemicals with restraint?

    P.S. Thanks for posting the link to Mat Yudov’s article. All of his posts on Fragrantica are excellent and very informative.
    How wonderful to have Grayspoole here to entertain and educate us. I am going to spend the next couple of months WAC-ing a whole lot of scents.

    wac wac wac.........

    BIDWA spit spit......
    Last edited by purecaramel; 26th October 2017 at 11:33 AM.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    I’m surprised Aventus isn’t mentioned as an Ambroxan bomb - I am overpowered by that smell when someone wears this fragrance. Another one which is heavy with it is Geranium Pour Monsieur.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    I just about got hives reading this thread title. Thanks for the fascinating article.

    Another prime offender is MFK Baccarat Rouge 540, that glossy sledgehammer.

    A lot of these chemically "enhanced" scents have potential - but it's like seeing a piece of fine art under a blindingly bright stadium floodlight.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 26th October 2017 at 03:14 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    In reviews, the usual code words for “Big Indigestible Dose of Woody Aromachemicals” seem to be amber, ambergris, cedar, patchouli, pepper, frankincense, oud, sandalwood, and animalic musk. Unfortunately, the standard potent WAC-smell suggests none of these lovely things to me. It's just WAC.
    Oh, man. You hit the nail on the head here. Lately it seems like "patchouli" is a prime offender. Why list it if the scent is not going to contain one iota of its profile? It's not like patchouli is a prestige note, added for marketing glitz.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
    Currently wearing: Ruh by Pekji

  26. #26
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    Hi Cook.bot and all-

    Oh, AMEN! So many new perfumes dry down to this very similar, linear woody smell with its extreme longevity. I find this experience very boring and, increasingly, unwearable. A while ago, I ordered samples of some of the current woody, musky aromachemicals from the Perfumers Supply House, including Timbersilk, Animalis, Norlimbanol, and so forth, so that I could try to pin down what was bugging me. I realized that it isn’t just a single aromachemical--ambrox or Iso-E super or whatever is being currently blamed for the problem. Some of these ingredients smell quite good and have different nuances, even in isolation. I just think they need to be used with skill and subtlety and balanced with other ingredients to add interest and variety.

    So that’s what I now look for in a modern perfume. I think Duchaufour used woody musky stuffs beautifully in Ostara, and I enjoy wearing this composition. On the other hand, a big recent disappointment for me was Waddington’s Civet in the Zoologist line. Civet opened so beautifully and so promisingly that I was thinking that it might be FBW, a modern version of the spicy, mulled vintages that I love that are based on the mellis accord--such as Bellodgia, Moment Supreme, Indiscret, Balalaika--but sadly no...the woody aromachemical (WAC) drydown became so insistent and unrelenting that I can’t wear Civet.

    It is somewhat depressing to think that so many people seem to enjoy these WAC effects but I cannot, it seems. Heck, Escentric Molecules is doing a good business selling these aromachemicals in fancy bottles! In reviews, the usual code words for “Big Indigestible Dose of Woody Aromachemicals” seem to be amber, ambergris, cedar, patchouli, pepper, frankincense, oud, sandalwood, and animalic musk. Unfortunately, the standard potent WAC-smell suggests none of these lovely things to me. It's just WAC. I wonder if the tide will turn eventually, and we will see more perfumers using these aromachemicals with restraint?

    P.S. Thanks for posting the link to Mat Yudov’s article. All of his posts on Fragrantica are excellent and very informative.
    “Big Indigestible Dose of Woody Aromachemicals” :-) I think we need a thread that lists the chief offenders, so that we can all stay far away from these BIDWAs!
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  27. #27
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    “Big Indigestible Dose of Woody Aromachemicals” :-) I think we need a thread that lists the chief offenders, so that we can all stay far away from these BIDWAs!
    I dunno. Much as I'd like to avoid them too, Blacklists don't have a terribly happy history in most cases....

  28. #28
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    I dunno. Much as I'd like to avoid them too, Blacklists don't have a terribly happy history in most cases....
    You mean in general, historically throughout time, or specifically on BN?
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  29. #29
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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Out today Shopping with my wife. She was "Saving us Money" buying 50 bucks of Marked Up stuff with 20% off. So I wandered off to the nicely displayed Perfume Dept just like Sephora. I like being able to hold a bottle in my hand and spray a card.
    I went for the Narciso Rodriguez for Women.
    "Hey, that smells like 60's Floral Laundry Detergent with a little Woody Aroma Chemical" Nostalgic, however a little voice in my brain is tapping out wac,wac,wac...... I move along to another sparkly bottle, wac, wac,wac..... move along to the next wac,wac,wac... pretty soon I'm muttering wac, . wac,wac....The SA comes over and asks "Can I help you Sir?" I respond with "Yes, can you recommend something without wac,wac,wac....? As the SA is giving me the blank stare, I notice the Aromatics Elixir and say, "It's OK,, I think I've found what I need'.
    By this time, I'm dizzy from the Sugar Rush, my stomach is making weird noises and I'm seeing Flashing signs of WAC,WAC,WAC... blinding it is.
    I got out of there quick into the Fresh Air and debated whether I need the other half of my Metformin.

    What the hell have they done to Azzaro?
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    Currently wearing: Dia Man by Amouage

  30. #30
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: "Super Ambrox" and the rise of overdosed fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Starblind View Post
    You mean in general, historically throughout time, or specifically on BN?
    Just meant in general... thinking of the McCarthy era, nothing specific to BN.

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    that glossy sledgehammer.
    ^^^ What an elegant turn of phrase.
    Last edited by Cook.bot; 26th October 2017 at 08:35 PM.




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